Burmese Stud List

Advice to Owners of Queens

The Burmese Cat Club accepts entries for this Stud List only from stud owners who have signed the declaration (see below).

Nevertheless, if you are the owner of a queen you should not take your queen to any stud unless you are allowed freely to see the stud, his quarters and the queen’s quarters and the heating arrangements.

Equally it is your responsibility to send your queen to a stud only when she is in excellent health.  Also check that she is free of fleas and ear mites.  It is most unfair to ask a stud owner to risk the health of the stud and possibly that of the queen that follows yours.

If your queen has been on any form of contraception pill or injection you should NOT get the queen mated until after she has had at least one complete call.

Make sure that you have completed the transfer of registration for your queen and that she is registered on the Active Register before making arrangements to go to stud.  Queens on the Non Active Register will not be accepted into stud.

Declaration

I declare that I am the Registered Owner and agree:

  1. That my stud must be on the GCCF Active Register
  2. 2. That all queens accepted must be on the GCCF Active Register or active with another bona fide organisation
  3. That my stud has tested negative for FeLV/FIV.
  4. That my stud has been tested or I can verify his status for Burmese Hypokalaemia
  5. That my stud will not be “free range”
  6. To advise owners of queens on the care of queen and kittens and to assist with the identification of kitten colours if necessary
  7. To stress the importance of and give advice on registration of progeny
  8. To my stud and quarters being inspected at any reasonable time by a member of the Burmese Cat Club Committee or someone authorised by them

GCCF Requirements

All studs must have a Certificate of Entirety. This must be deposited with the GCCF prior to the registration of the stud’s first litter of kittens. When a litter is registered the application to register must be accompanied by a copy of the certificate of mating unless the person registering the kitten(s) is also the owner of the sire. A certificate of mating must state the registered name, breed name and registration number of the sire, together with the registered name, breed name and registration number of the dam and the dates of the mating and must be signed by the registered owner of the sire.

Check List for Owners of Studs and Queens

Owners of studs and queens are reminded of the many responsibilities resting upon them when arranging a mating.  Some of these are discussed elsewhere in the Stud List in “Advice to Owners of Queens” and in the genetic notes but it was felt that an easy to use checklist would be useful at one or more of the many discussions, which are inevitable between both parties.  A personal meeting of both owners is most desirable, even essential.

Owner of Stud

Owner of Queen

Guidelines for Inspection of Stud Quarters

The general impression should be of a contended stud in quarters that are hygienic and comfortable, suggesting good management on the part of the stud owner. There should be evidence of attention to the social needs of both stud and queen and commitment to the requirements of stud work.

Stud House  
This should be large enough to accommodate the stud at all times. Recommended minimum size is 6’ x 6’ x 6’ (1.8m x 1.8m x 1.8m) but preferably larger, with good ventilation and window space.  Walls and roof of the house should be lined and insulated. Inside walls should be covered with paint or PVC. Floors should be covered with impervious material, which should extend some way up the walls. Doors into the house should be large enough to allow easy access. A stable type door is desirable. Shelves and ledges  (of which there should be several) should be finished in easily cleaned material.

Queen’s Quarters  
This should be separate accommodation incorporating sleeping area, litter tray and sufficient space for feeding and stretching. There should be easy access to the stud quarters but allow access to the queen without molestation by the stud. It can be a partitioned area of the stud house or it can be constructed as a small box type pen within the main house; this must have secure fastening and a solid wall around the sleeping compartment to allow the queen privacy. The size of the queen’s apartment should not be less than 6’ x 2’ x 2’ (1.8m x 0.6m x 0.6m) and should be well ventilated.

Outside Run  
This should be large enough to provide scope for exercise – recommended minimum size is 6’ x 6’ x 6’ (1.8m x 1.8m x 1.8m) – with shelves situated at various aspects.  It should be constructed from strong supports covered with a wire frame with no wire ends protruding into the run. There should be no gaps in or under the wire from which a cat could escape. The base of the run should be constructed from concrete, paving slabs or similar, allowing easy cleaning and disinfecting. The safety run should be incorporated into the main run and have a secure inner door and lockable outer door.

Heating and Lighting  
Electricity should be used for heating and lighting with all wires concealed or protected and plug sockets out of range of a spraying tom. There should be adequate illumination to allow management of the stud and visiting queens after dark.

Premises that are recorded as differing in any respect from the guidelines (e.g. size of stud house, queen’s quarters/safety arrangements) are marked “Premises do not conform totally to BCC guidelines.  Further details should be obtained from the stud owner.”

Feline Leukaemia

Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV) infection, which can result in leukaemia, lymphoma and other fatal diseases was a serious problem in pedigree cats until the policy of testing studs and queens for the virus was introduced. Even before showing any symptoms themselves, FeLV positive cats can infect other cats by contact with body fluids such as saliva and blood. The infection can also be passed from a queen to her kittens.

Although cats may suffer only a transient infection there is no cure for persistent FeLV infection, which is diagnosed by a blood test carried out by veterinary surgeons.

There are now several FeLV vaccines licensed for use in the UK. Although these should be useful in reducing the incidence of infection none has proved to be totally effective under laboratory conditions. A certificate of vaccination should not be accepted as a substitute for blood testing of queens and studs, although vaccination may reduce the need to test whole households of cats.

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), which causes the feline equivalent of AIDS, is another major viral pathogen of cats. Transmission of FIV appears to occur mainly by biting and theoretically could happen during mating. FIV infected cats may appear well for years before developing symptoms. FIV infection can be diagnosed by a blood test, performed at the same time as the FeLV test.

A breeder must be prepared to show the stud owner the appropriate test certificate(s) and is advised to enquire about the acceptability of these certificates when making stud arrangements.

The committee of the Burmese Cat Club wishes to point out that entry to the Stud List does not provide any guarantee that the stud is FeLV/FIV negative and breeders are advised to make their own enquiries by asking to see a test certificate for the stud.

Feline Infectious Peritonitis Virus Testing

Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) is a fatal viral disease that remains a particular problem in pedigree cats. It is caused by certain strains of feline corona virus. Routine blood testing for corona virus antibodies is not generally recommended by veterinary surgeons because it is unable to distinguish between FIP – causing corona virus and less pathogenic strains, which may cause diarrhoea or no symptoms at all; fewer than 10% of antibody-positive cats go on to develop FIP. If it is known that a cat or household of cats has a corona virus infection (which often occurs only when a kitten that a breeder has sold develops FIP), the breeder must be aware that FIP could occur in subsequent litters of kittens unless special precautions are taken. It is safest to breed only from cats with a corona virus antibody titre of 0, but the viruses are so prevalent in the pedigree cat population that this may not always be possible. Owners of studs whose households are corona virus free may therefore wish to see the result of a corona virus antibody test before admitting a queen for mating and owners of queens may request test results for the stud.

Remember on no account is a titre reading alone enough evidence to put cat to sleep.

Protecting Against Viruses

Regular vaccination of studs and queens against feline infectious enteritis (FIE) and cat flu (FVR & FCV) is also important. In general problems with infectious diseases can be minimised by the provision of clean quarters with good air circulation, reduction of overcrowding and separation of litters of different ages.

Hypokalaemia (Familial Episodic Hypokalaemic Polymyopathy)

Hypokalaemia is a debilitating and sometimes fatal disease characterised by periodic bouts of skeletal muscle weakness which can affect the whole body but is most noticeable in the neck muscles .The cat tends to adopt a “meerkat” posture and has difficulty walking and jumping .The severity of the symptoms can range from slight muscle weakness to complete collapse.

Symptoms have been known to appear as early as five weeks of age, most at a much later onset of four months, some at fifteen months.

A blood test can be used to confirm the clinical condition. The results will show low serum potassium and high CPK, an enzyme indicating muscle damage.

In some cases potassium supplements can be used to alleviate the symptoms but this is not a cure for the condition, being of genetic origin.

Genetic Testing
There is now a genetic test available .A mouth swab is all that is necessary, sent to the Langford Diagnostic Laboratory, Bristol. Details can be found at the Langford website:- http://www.langfordvets.co.uk/lab_pcr_hypokalaemia.htm

Contact Mrs Sue Chase, Secretary, for the code to claim the discount offered by Langford to BCC members.
[Please note that any tests submitted other than those by a veterinary surgeon, having verified the cat’s microchip number, will not be eligible for inclusion on any genetic register e.g the FAB or GCCF. A certificate will be sent to you noting your cat’s status as follows:-

Normal: does not have the mutated gene .
Carrier: has one copy of the mutated gene. Is unaffected but can pass the gene to it’s kittens.
Affected: has both copies of the gene and therefore has the condition.

Breeding
HKL is classified as an autosomal recessive disease.This means that the cat has to have two copies of the mutated gene for the disease to manifest.

A cat tested as “affected” must not be bred from however slight the symptoms.

All kittens from such a cat will inherit one copy of the gene if mated to a “normal” and some will inherit two if mated to a “carrier”.

A cat tested as a “carrier”, having one copy of the gene , will appear normal and not have the disease,but will pass on the gene to some of it’s kittens.

 “Carriers” can be used but must only be mated to cats tested free of the gene. Any resulting kittens kept for breeding must be tested for HKL.

It is recommended that breeding cats tested as “carriers” should not be neutered as many could still play an important part in preserving the health of the gene pool. For every 1% of the Burmese breed classed as “affected” there will be an estimated 18% “carrier” status. To remove so many individuals from the gene pool would not be wise.

The number of cats being tested is encouraging and it is hoped that if this continues, together with responsible breeding, the “carrier” frequency will gradually be reduced until the disease is eliminated from the Burmese breed.